Watanabe Nakiri question

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Well-Known Member
Mar 2, 2011
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I was hoping one of you guys could tell me a little about this blade I just picked up. Today I went to the LA knife expo because I heard Shinichi Watanabe was going to be there. I'm pretty new to J-knives but knew that he was a man worth meeting. I was hoping to pick up a sujihiki from him but he didn't bring any. Not one to leave empty handed I picked up this nice nakiri that just felt great. I would like to point out he was beyond nice, even giving some cookies to my daughter, but there was a bit of a language barrier and I didn't really get what he said about this knife. I was hoping some of you experts who are familiar with his knives, could tell me what kind of steel it is. I believe he said it was blue steel but didn't get much beyond that.


i would bet it's blue steel but i know one thing....u got yourself a great little knife....ryan
I've got a Watanabe nakiri too. It's not the thinnest nakiri out there - in fact it's the beefiest of the 3 that I have - but it's still very nice and I consider it the middle-child in my nakiri lineup. I find that it has a nice weight & balance, probably the best of the three. I think you've picked up a nice one :)
It looks like a pro line which should be blue steel core with stainless cladding. I have one myself, one of my favorite knives - my wife's favorite for sure. Handle is burnt chestnut.
I have one with a Fish handle. It is my favorite nakiri.
I have one also. Blue steel, stainless clad. I've thought about a handle upgrade, but there is nothing wrong with the handle it comes with.
What'd score? :)

sadly, nothing. I just wanted to see what kitchen knife offerings people had, but i didnt find myself super impressed with anything. Also, it might be worth nothing that i'm not that into hunting knives, etc.

There were some really cool wood pieces for scales and handles though... got me thinking.
I have to ask those of you that have a few Watanabe knives-would you consider ordering his 8-pc. set? Of course, I would have preferred to get it a few years ago, when it was a bit cheaper, & there would be some overlap in knives that I already have (although, surprisingly, not that many small knives), but it still seems like it should be worthwhile...what do you think?
I'm not sure if this is still the case or not but I believe that the sets are not pro version knives, they're the thicker roughly finished ones. IMO these aren't the best knives that he supplies.
true, but at this point, I can't really afford his best knives, as much as I would love to have them-would you you get a bunch of 'average, but good' knives or spend it all on 1 really great knife? (Not a fair question, I know)...
I decided to wait until I could afford the one good knife. Turns out I could never afford that one knife. Both Watanabes I have were gifts. :)
I only have 2 Watanabes-the kaibou & the 180 gyutou (which is really a petty)-they're very nice, but sort of niche knives-I think I would use the kaibou more, if I could figure out how to use heavier knives-that's my problem w/ the deba-the single edge, the weight-it just doesn't seem to be something you reach for...
true, but at this point, I can't really afford his best knives, as much as I would love to have them-would you you get a bunch of 'average, but good' knives or spend it all on 1 really great knife? (Not a fair question, I know)...

Why isn't it a fair question?

I think you would be better served with one really good gyuto, rather than several average knives.

Most people can do 90% of what they need to in the kitchen with a gyuto.

The $320 that gets you eight average knives from Watanabe will buy an excellent 210mm Pro gyuto with change left over ($280).

Or take that $320 and go shopping with Jon Broida at Japanese Knife Imports. $280 will get you a Konosuke white #2 210mm wa-gyuto and a 120mm wa-petty.
Thanks for the info guys. It's good to know the skinny on your knives. It's a fun little knife. The misses really likes it.
I'm sure you guys have seen that but over on the 'other' forum is a very reasonably priced customized (amboyna handle) Watanabe pro nakiri for sale...